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José Alves de Olinda (known as Zé Alves de Olinda) was born in Recife in 1953. Since a young age, he began to craft sculptures out of wood with a knife. At age seventeen, he went to work in an art gallery along Recife’s Avenida Boa Viagem and he soon began sculpting works of his own. His success has allowed him to live from his art for the last thirty years.